Norway's hard-line integration minister might quit

NTB/The Local
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Norway's hard-line integration minister might quit
Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug of the anti-immigration Progress Party is considering giving up politics for the sake of her family.


“What do you do when your five-year-old son has to explain to the other children why his mum so rarely picks him up from nursery? Then you start to consider whether you should quit politics,” the 38-year-old Listhaug told VG.
“I will therefore go through a thorough thought process this summer, and decide whether or not I should go run for parliament,” she added. 
Listhaug took on the role of immigration and integration minister in December. She said that the position began to fill so much of her time that she was told by her husband that she needed to drop off and pick up their children more often at daycare at school. 
“Things are a bit less busy in the early summer period, so it went fine. The kids also appreciated it,” Listhaug told VG. 
The minister currently does not sit in parliament but she is a fairly safe bet to received the Progress Party’s nomination in Oslo ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections. 
Listhaug has advocated a hard-line approach to immigration and asylum that has resulted in Norway's asylum numbers plummeting by 95 percent. Her policies have made her simultaneously one of Norway’s most admired and controversial politicians. 
In addition to wanting to spend more time with her children, Listhaug also told VG that the amount of abuse she receives on social media is also beginning to weigh on her. 
“There are important values in a more quiet and secluded life where you can escape the intense spotlight of being a nationally known politician,” she said. 
Listhaug was the subject of much mockery both in Norway and abroad in April when she jumped into the Mediterranean Sea in a full-body survival suit in a tone deaf attempt to see things from the perspective of migrants who risk their lives crossing the sea to Europe. 
She was also the subject of an online mockery campaign after she said in November 2015 that Jesus would probably back her party's asylum policies


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